Belgian Women's Ice Hockey Team wins Gold at Worlds DIV2B and is promoted for the 2nd Time in a Row Belgian Women's Ice Hockey Team wins Gold at Worlds DIV2B and is promoted for the 2nd Time in a Row

CAPE TOWN - The Belgian national women's ice hockey team has once again written Belgian sports history! During the recent IIHF Women's World Championship in Division 2B, which took place in Cape Town, South Africa, from 20 to 26 February 2023, the Belgian Blades took the gold through a clean sweep beating all its opponents.

Without a doubt a remarkable achievement. After all, after gold in 2022 and therefore promoted from Division 3A, the Belgian ladies started the tournament as underdogs in the ice stadium at the foot of Table Mountain with Croatia, Australia, New Zealand, and host South Africa as successive opponents. Turkey was also in the group but had to drop out after the major earthquake there.

The Belgian Blades started their tournament with a bang. Team Croatia was sidelined by double digits and the Eastern Europeans were never much of a threat during the match which was undoubtedly dominated by the Belgians. The final score 10-1 (3-0; 3-1; 4-0) with goals from De Guchtenaere (4), Steeno, Paulissen (2), Van Calster, Maka and De Terwangne ​​provided an enormous boost for the team.

In the second game against Australia, however, it became clear that the team of coaches Tim Vos and Sven Van Buren was really on track. The game against big favorite Australia was a genuine nail biter. A match on the razor’s edge where both teams were worth each other and did not give away an inch on the ice. Goalie Nina Van Orshaegen turned out to be a devil out of a box. She was like an impenetrable Chinese Wall for the Belgian Blades and kept the team in the game the entire time, blocking 48 shots. It also earns her the MVP trophy of the match afterwards. However, redemption came in the 25th minute when Femke Bosmans screened the Australian goalie and scored via a tip-in after a hard shot from the blue line signed off by Chinouk Van Calster. The Belgians hold on until the end of the game and cause a stir with this great victory.

The third match against New Zealand, the other participant from Oceania, will therefore be the most important match. Victory means gold, given the ranking and mutual results. The Belgian Blades are therefore hungry for gold and that was immediately noticeable. Barely 45 seconds after game face-off, Lotte De Guchtenaere puts Team Belgium ahead via Femke Bosmans and Anke Steeno. The overwhelmed Ice Fernz counterattack and leave no chance unturned. It promises to be another thriller of game. Indeed, New Zealand takes the lead in the first period, so the Belgians must chase. And that works well for them. De Guchtenaere goes all out and gives the Belgians the lead. The Belgian ladies can keep the Ice Fernz away for the entire period. When, in a last-ditch effort in search of the equalizer to drag the game into OT, the New Zealand coach exchanges the goalie for a sixth player, leaving the New Zealand net wide open. The Belgians counter their opponent’s attack, Anke Steeno hits the puck from the blue line towards the Ice Fernz goal, while De Guchtenaere tips the puck over the goal line. Her fourth goal. A performance that earns her the MVP trophy of the match. With 8 goals in 3 games, De Guchtenaere also leads the top scorers ranking!

The last match against host country South Africa was therefore a match that could not change anything for the Belgians in their brilliant result. However, a 'clean sweep' looks nice on their record. And… the Belgian 'Golden' Blades did not disappoint. They also put their fourth opponent aside in this last game with a convincing 1-4 score. Four victories in a row, a 'clean sweep' indeed. Mission accomplished. Promotion to Division 2A next year!

“We can only be very satisfied with the formidable performance of this great team,” reacts Assistant Coach Sven Van Buren from Cape Town. “At the same time, we wrote a bit of Belgian ice hockey history. No Belgian Team has ever won back-to-back gold at an IIHF World Championship. That's pretty cool. You are proud of that. It went very well, an absolute team effort. It was fantastic to experience this.” Coach Tim Vosagrees. “More than proud of course. We arrived here in Cape Town with the main task of maintaining our spot in this Division, with a slight hope of taking the bronze. However, when you finally return home with gold… that's every coach's dream. We now must build on this team and next year in a higher division we will probably have to step up a notch. The entire staff and all ladies are very satisfied with the result.”

All Results in a Nutshell


Final score: 10-1 (3-0; 3-1; 4-0)

Goals: Lotte De Guchtenaere (4), Anke Steeno, Louise Paulissen (2), Chinouk Van Calster, Valentine Maka & Audrey De Terwangne

Team MVP Belgium: Renée De Wolf #13


Final score: 1-0 (0-0; 1-0; 0-0)

Goals: Femke Bosmans (1)

Team MVP Belgium: Nina Van Orshaegen #1


Final score: 2-4 (2-1; 0-2; 0-1)

Goals: Lotte De Guchtenaere (4)

Team MVP Belgium: Lotte De Guchtenaere #6


Final score: 1-4 (0-1; 1-2; 0-1)

Goals: Anke Steeno, Renée De Wolf, Chinouk Van Calster & Louise Paulissen

Team MVP Belgium: Chinouk Van Calster #18


Ranking: 1st place - gold

Best goalie of the tournament: Nina Van Orshaegen #1

Best forward of the tournament: Lotte De Guchtenaere #6

Posted on February 26, 2023 at 23:14 by CP

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